By Abdelkader Bouaziz: I was sipping quietly my mint tea as I watched the televised debate of Quebec election, and as usual, Immigration took center stage. Although politic is not my cup of tea, but since I put my first steps in this province, I felt involved by force of circumstances, in its politic debate, and the main trend that emerges in every result of election is that: The more a political Party mishandles immigration, the worst the result for this Party is!
I remember, in 2013 when Party Quebecois (PQ) introduced the proposal for the charter of Quebec values. By exploiting a deep insecurity among French-speaking Quebecers, the charter helped to lose sight of the party’s poor economic performance and helped consolidate its base. It has created a lot of controversies.
Philippe Couillard (who was not yet prime minister of the province at this time) explained that “PQ plan will become law, over my dead body!”, and even two emblematic figures from political life of Quebec itself, former Prime ministers Jacques Parizeau and Lucien Bouchard, have not adhered to this charter completely. Parizeau said. “The question that must be asked today is: why today and why [we are targeting] Muslim women?”
The result? The charter died on the order paper before the 2014 election, and not only did the PQ leader lost her seat, but the party also lost power.
Same scenario happened couple of years before, when the Action Démocratique du Québec (ADQ) and its Leader was focusing on reasonable accommodation, wishing to make it an issue in the 2007 election campaign. In March 2008, a motion of the Party demanding a decrease in immigrant quotas was soundly defeated at the National Assembly, and the leader of the Party, Dumont, blamed immigrants for padding Quebec’s welfare rolls and contributing to a general decline of the French language.
And again, in the 2008 election, the ADQ collapsed and following the bitter defeat of his opposition party, Dumont announced his resignation on the spot. The party has disappeared from the political scene of Quebec, and the few remaining members merge with a new party: Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ)
When a political party (no matter what is the color or its plan) mobilizes energies behind a project that causes disruption to immigrants, instead of tackling the real deals, the results are disastrous. Perhaps, today, the parties would learn from these lessons.
It’s always good to talk about the issue of immigration, it is desirable that we may question the ability of our province to effectively welcome as many immigrants, but it would be beneficial for the whole population to talk about it in a very constructive way, and most importantly we shouldn’t underestimate the importance of the immigrants for the development of, not just a great province like Quebec, but a great nation like Canada.
spending all his childhood in France, Abdelkader is active in social-cultural life of immigrants, in Montreal QC, where he used to live for 3 years, then Ottawa ON for 6 years, then Fredericton NB 3 years and a half, before moving back to Ottawa. He contributes voluntarily with writings and stories that touch lives of immigrants in Canada. He wrote columns in immigration websites and answered interviews in a few blogs for expatriates.
Graduated from the National School of Public Administration of Quebec, with a master degree as International Analyst, he has a particular interest in immigration news, international student experiences, cultural activities and social media.
He discovered his passion for writing during his first years of immigration, when it became clear that sharing the daily life of an immigrant and telling stories, are how he will appease the struggling of a new life for an immigrant, in Canada.
His moto is ” Dream about your future, learn from the past, and live your present!”